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KWA/KSC Glock 18C Review and Technical Info


A full and honest review of my first GBB – the KWA Glock 18C with upgraded metal slide.


First Looks

Here’s the Glock 18C – a nice looking gun from KWA (apparently KWA is the same as KSC, but without trademarks. However, the KWA doesn’t come with manuals, it comes in a noname box, and the trigger is missing the safety tab on it. See “Things I Don’t Like” below.) . When I opened the box, there was the Glock 18C, a bag of 100 BBs, the magazine, a loading tool, and a small bag with a Hop-Up adjustment tool and a tiny allen wrench. (The allen wrench fits a tiny set screw beneath the rear sight. This is apparently for disassembling the slide.)

The Glock 18C is almost exactly the same as a Glock 17 (and uses the same magazines, reportedly) except that the Glock 18C has a fire selector switch, allowing it to fire in full auto(!).

The gun has a very nice, balanced heft to it. It feels comfortable in the hand and has a very satisfying feel. Shaking the gun from side to side produces a slight rattling from the metal slide and outer barrel. Another review I read said the real Glock also apparently does this, so you can consider it added realism if you want. The rattling in no way appears to affect the operation of the gun.

Operation

Note that there was no manual in the box. I don’t know if this was an oversight, or if I received some kind of “OEM” version. In any case, I had to do some web hunting for how to use the gun and how to care for it.

First of all, a good general guide on Gas Gun Care was to be found at Airsoft Atlanta in one of their FAQs (found at http://www.airsoftatlanta.com/faq2.htm). From there I learned how to fill the gas gun with gas, load it, and clean it. It’s a good read. The rest of the information I found was a little here and a little there. I’ll share it all here.

Filling with Gas

First, the magazine needs to be filled with gas. The G18C can take HFC134a or Green Gas (also called TOP gas or HFC22) but the higher power Green Gas is recommended especially if you have the upgraded metal slide. Green Gas is pictured left.

Locate the plastic plate on the bottom of the magazine. It slides away (toward the BB slot along the front) to expose the fill nozzle.

Filling the magazine from the gas container is much like filling a butane lighter from a butane can. Mate up the connectors with both the gas can and the magazine inverted. Then press down to release the liquid gas into the nozzle of the magazine. It takes some practice to get right. A 2-3 second fill should do it. I find that for the Glock 18C’s magazine, the fill time is closer to 2 seconds than 3. One gas fill equals about enough to shoot 1.5 magazines full of BBs. So if you refill after one magazine fill, you won’t need a full 2-3 second charge. Remember overfilling can damage or destroy your magazine’s seals and valves. If gas sprays out at any time, STOP. If you’re sure it’s not full yet wait a few moments for the seals to warm up again and try another fill attempt.

Once it is filled, the magazine should be left to warm up to room temperature (2-3 minutes wait) before being used. The magazine is cooled by the act of filling, and letting it warm up helps keep the valves and seals working well (and lasting a long time). Also, the warmer the compressed liquid gas is, the faster it can convert into gaseous form, which is what makes the gun work. The colder the magazine, the harder that is for the gas to do.

Loading

Pictured left is a loaded magazine. To get this, push the spring-loaded lever (resting normally at the top of the front slot you see the BBs in) down all the way to the bottom. It should catch and hold.

Then, fit the loading tool onto the top of the magazine so the funnel opening points out from the front of the magazine (the front is the side with the slot – the side facing you in the picture). It really only fits on one way. A tab is on the tool for you to hold it in place with your thumb.

Then, drop BBs into the funnel opening. Ideally, the BBs should stagger-stack in the magazine as shown. This almost never happens if you just dump BBs in. For best results, drop them in one at a time. You should be able to load in 23 BBs in this standard size magazine. (High-capacity mags are also available.)

You can use .20g BBs (the “standard” weight for AEGs and GBBs). There are other kinds of BBs as well but .20g is what I used here. .25g is also usable.

I recommend using the high-grade Marui or Excel BBs in this gun (or any GBB pistol or SMG) since in the blowback guns, smooth loading and handling of the BB by the mechanism is an integral part of the gun’s operation. Jams can occur if the BB does not load smoothly – at the very least, cheap BBs cause more wear on the gun. Take a look and see for yourself what the difference is between cheap and expensive BBs.

And a final word about BBs – never re-use BBs. They can be cracked or worn after shooting and will wear on your gun and possibly jam.

Firing the G18C

First thing is to push the magazine (BB slot forward) into the bottom of the gun until it clicks. If it doesn’t fall out, you’ve done it right.

Look at the selector switch on the rear left of the slide. There are three settings. The top (one dot) is for semi-auto. This setting fires once every time you pull the trigger. The middle setting is “SAFE”. The bottom setting is “full-auto”, where the gun will fire as long as the trigger is down.

Now pull the slide back all the way (if you look inside the now-open breech you should be able to see the BB at the top of the magazine) which will cock the hammer. Then let go of the slide and it will slide forward and lock into place. When it slid forward, it scooped a BB from the magazine. The gun is now ready to fire.

Listen to the G18C

Single Shots

Firing and entire Hicap magazine (48 rounds)

Video of a Real One

Video of a Real Full Auto Glock – Not actually a Glock 18C, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

As you can see from the video, no one could possibly consider the firing experience of the Glock 18C Airsoft to be comparable to the real thing. So if you’re new to Airsoft take talk about how “realistic” a GBB is with a grain of salt. I don’t think anyone realistically expects an air-powered BB gun to act like the real thing – but you may be misled if you’re completely new to GBBs.

That being said, let me reiterate how much fun the Airsoft G18C is to shoot! And it really is quite impressive. Firing on full auto is tough to hold on one spot, as the gun does indeed have a fair kick to it.

When firing on full auto I find it is very useful to modify the grip I use to hold the gun. I hold the G18C in both hands (as usual) but extend the index finger of the non-trigger hand and hold the front of the trigger guard with it (as though the front of the trigger guard were a second trigger – picture it that way). This allows me to apply pressure forward of the gun’s center of gravity, essentially pulling the muzzle “downwards”. This helps control the gun in full auto tremendously.

When You’re Done Firing

While firing away, you will either run out of ammo, or run out of gas.

When the gun fires it’s last shot, the slide stays open (usually, anyway. I have noticed this is not always the case — but usually is). You can then push the little square button on the handle behind the trigger on the left side to release the magazine (it will FALL OUT if you’re not there to catch it!). If you have another magazine, you can push it in, hit the slide release (pull down the square tab behind and above the trigger on the left side) and you’re ready to go again. If you don’t have a magazine ready, top up the gas in the existing one and reload with BBs. Allow a few minutes for the magazine to warm up before firing again.

If you run out of gas, you will pull the trigger but nothing will happen and the trigger will remain back. You will need to remove the magazine and fill with gas before you can continue. If you do this, pull back the slide and tip the gun back to let the loaded BB drop out before re-inserting the magazine! Otherwise, the action of cycling the slide to cock the hammer with the new magazine will ALSO load ANOTHER BB. This will certainly cause a jam. Normally you won’t encounter this since a magazine holds more than enough gas to fire the entire load of BBs.

If you’re done shooting, get rid of the remaining gas. To do this, fire the gun with the magazine inserted but no ammunition loaded. You will have to release the slide if it stays back after each shot. You can also hold down the slide release to dry-fire in “full auto”. Do this until the gun no longer fires, or is *almost* empty – the last few shots of gas will be very weak. Some people recommend storing magazines with a small amount of gas (1 or 2 weak shots worth) to keep the seals tight. It’s up to you. I prefeer keeping a small amount of gas in the magazine when storing.

If the trigger is not stuck in the “back” position, then pull the trigger to release the cocked hammer. The trigger will stay backwards with the hammer uncocked. It’s best to store the gun with the hammer uncocked.

Adjusting the Sights

The Glock 18C’s rear sights are adjustable by sliding the rear sight left or right. If you are shooting left, slide the sight a little to the right and vice versa. You cannot adjust the vertical sighting (up-down).

The G18C is pretty accurate, moreso than I expected of an Airsoft pistol.

Adjusting the Hop-Up

The Hop-Up System is adjustable with the little tool included in the package, which looks like a bent little silver fork-like thing. To adjust the hop-up, you insert the tool into the open breech (when the slide is open) and use the two tines of the fork like a screwdriver to twist the hop-up in the breech opening clockwise or counterclockwise.

I have noticed that the hop-up only really “kicks in” past the 20 foot mark. At about 15 feet there was no noticeable difference.

Hop-up adjusted full clockwise (hop-up off) at ~15 feet.

(Ignore the fact that the shots are left of center – I had adjusted the sights slightly)

Hop-up adjusted full counterclockwise (hop-up on full) at ~15 feet. Note there is not much of a difference between the two at 15 feet.

TOP: Hop-up adjusted full counterclockwise (hop-up full on)

BOTTOM: Hop-up adjusted full clockwise (hop-up full off)

This is at a range of about 25 feet. Notice the difference between the two.

You will see even greater differences past 25 feet. But for close ranges, the hop-up setting doesn’t matter much.

I had a chance to fire outdoors and the Glock 18C appears to be quite sensitive to hop-up changes. The optimum hop-up setting seemed to be 1 or 2 clicks above “OFF” for .20g BBs. Anything more than that, and the BBs will rake straight up into the stratosphere when you shoot.

Care and Cleaning

You should clean the parts of the gun with a clean cloth, then lube the parts regularly. This will help keep your GBB in top shape.

Use only 100% silicone lubricant for your gun. Oil and other lubricants can damage the plastic and rubber parts. Pure silicone oil is available from hardware stores and from Radio-Control hobby supply places as well as Airsoft retailers. Ensure the lube you buy says it is safe for use on plastics and rubber.

To take apart the G18C (field stripping), remove the magazine then do the following:

  1. Put the selector switch in SAFE (middle position).
  2. Pull the slide back.
  3. Locate the release tabs on both sides of the gun, just above the trigger.
  4. Pull both tabs DOWN and slide the slide forward and off the gun.

You can then take out the slide spring and rod, and also push the barrel forward, then slide it back and out. Clean the gun and parts with a lint-free cloth (you don’t want to leave bits behind). Apply a thin coat of lube to the parts, paying special attention to the breech (where the BB loads in from the magazine) and Hop-up mechanism and any moving parts. Wipe away any residue. Leaving wet lube behind will only attract dust and gunk.

Apply some lube to the magazine at both valves (fill valve and gas release valve – the “button” thing on the back of the magazine) and to the springed tab that pushes the BBs up.

Airsoft gas has silicone in it, which helps keep the gun lubed. But lubing without cleaning leads to gunked-up pieces, which causes wear and jams.

You should clean your gun after every shooting outing and/or before storage.

Accessories

Since the G18C is a 1:1 replica of the real thing, any accessory that is made to fit a Glock 17 (or 18C) will fit this Airsoft gun. That includes holsters, laser sights, tactical flashlights, and so forth.

That sort of thing is a must for those who are into the authenticity and realism. For those of us who don’t want to buy a flashlight that costs as much as the gun itself, there are some more generic alternatives available at gun shops and Airsoft retailers.

If you like to homebrew your own accessories, most standard clamp-like scope mount rings (Weaver scope mount rings) will fit the rail of the G18C. You can then attach whatever you like to the ring mount. Check out the Projects page here for some ideas (like my cheap laser sight).

Some other accessories include a threaded outer barrel to accommodate a silencer, a long, high-capacity magazine that holds 50 BBs (it sticks out from the bottom of the gun), and other upgrade parts. All of these are available from various Airsoft retailers.

Defining Characteristics

Full-auto at an insane rate of fire (especially on Green Gas), stylish lack of visible gas fill valve on bottom of mags, challenging muzzle control when on fullauto.

Things I Don’t Like

I really like this gun, but enough about the good. Here is what I don’t like.

  • I don’t like that I didn’t get a manual. Though this is apparently par for the course with KWA guns.
  • My selector switch binds, unless I put pressure on it the right way. To move it down, I have to push down and in. I push up and in to move it up. If I don’t, it could bind up. Also, the selector switch does not always want to move unless the slide is back at least an inch or so (though this is probably part of the design of the gun). I helped the binding problem somewhat by adjusting some screws inside the metal slide, but it’s still iffy.
  • As you may be able to see in the pictures, the trigger safety is missing. The G18C should have a trigger safety which looks like a little mini-trigger sticking out from the trigger. The KWA guns apparently lack this feature. It is present on the KSC guns.

Updates

SELECTOR SWITCH
I’ve has the gun for a couple months now and the selector switch seems to work better now – I have since disassembled my slide a few times and I think the better operation is a result of both making sure all the screws are tight as well as just having broken it in a bit. Also, it is apparently recommended that you only adjust the fire selector when the slide is open.

PART #10 (Breech BB Feed Ramp)
I have had to replace part #10 (see the parts breakdown below). A piece of the little ramp rail broke off at some point. The gun still fires with that small piece broken off from part #10 but feed jams are more of a risk. I have had my hands on two G18Cs (including the one in this review) and they BOTH had part #10 broken in the same way.

Now, to be fair the part saw some extra stress while I was experimenting with my Hi Power Upgrade Kit – it got jammed several times as I tried different things. And the other G18C (a stock KSC model) was of unknown age, but old enough to have gunked up internals from regular use with no regular cleaning. So although the evidence seems to suggest part #10 is fragile, the test environment is far from controlled.

Fortunately the part is inexpensive and a reinforced part #10 is available from retailers. I replaced both with a stock part #10 and will see if I have any further problems. If so, I will replace it with the reinforced part #10.

Technical Info

Here is a fragment of the manual, showing the full parts diagram. Handy if you need to order or look up a replacement part. All parts are named by their number (e.g. “My part #10 is broken.”)

Out of 10

I know how much people like “Out of 10″ ratings, so I’ll add one here.

Reliability: 8/10 if you shoot with duster gas (HFC134A), don’t dry-fire without a magazine inserted (part #78 is high-stress when dry-fired with no magazine), change the selector switch only while the slide is open, and use high-quality BBs.

3/10 if you transplanted the guts of your own slide into a replacement and/or installed your own hammer spring without being 100% sure what you were doing.